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  1. After months of speculation and rumor, it is now official: The Detroit Auto Show will be moving from January to June in 2020. “Our show is undergoing its most significant transformation in the last three decades. Detroit will continue to be a global stage for some of the world’s most significant and iconic vehicle reveals and host an unparalleled international audience of media and key industry influencers,” said Rod Alberts, Executive Director of the Detroit Auto Show. The Detroit Auto Show has been taking a bit of beating over the past few years with various automakers pulling out to hold their own events or focus on other shows, along with the Consumer Electronics Show taking more of the spotlight. Plans for the revamped show include rides and drives of new vehicles, having self-driving vehicles on public roads, experience dynamic vehicle debuts, and more. "As we look to break out of the traditional auto show model, there is not a need to follow the normal show season. The new direction and focus of the show will disrupt the normal cadence of traditional shows and create a new event unparalleled in the industry," said Doug North, president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association. Organizers point out the new date will drastically reduce the costs of participating in the show. Already, various automakers such as General Motors and Hyundai have praised the move. Whether it works or not remains to be seen. Source: North American International Auto Show Transformational Move Announced for the North American International Auto Show The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) announced that starting in 2020 the show would make a transformational move to June and will start the week of June 8th. The ability for participating brands to deliver dynamic exhibits and experiential opportunities outside of the show’s four walls for attending journalists, industry members and consumers, will provide new avenues to showcase the products and technologies on display. Delivering greater ROI through reduced costs and dynamic opportunities will be a key aspect of the future show. “Our show is undergoing its most significant transformation in the last three decades,” said Rod Alberts, Executive Director, NAIAS. “Detroit will continue to be a global stage for some of the world’s most significant and iconic vehicle reveals and host an unparalleled international audience of media and key industry influencers.” NAIAS is one of the most influential global auto events, touching all facets of the industry and attracting the largest concentration of the world’s top industry leaders – from automakers and suppliers, to tech startups and venture capitalists, to universities and policymakers. “The North American International Auto Show is an amazing exhibition that showcases the most innovative and creative automotive companies around the world,” said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. “Moving the show to the summer opens up new opportunities for companies as well as creating new experiences for attendees.” The show is run by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and its Executive Board. As part of the DADA and Board’s due diligence in exploring new opportunities for the show, hundreds of meetings and conversations with key stakeholders – automakers, suppliers and sponsors, as well as industry and government leaders – were had around the world. “Our ultimate goal is to provide an experience and opportunity for participating companies and attendees, that only Detroit can offer,” said Doug North, DADA President. “June will allow us to better showcase the automotive leadership, development and heritage our great city and region holds.” Embracing the Industry’s Change Auto show dynamics are changing globally as the auto industry undergoes its biggest shift in more than a century. With this, automakers are seeking out increasingly creative ways to debut vehicles and engage with consumers. Plans have been underway for over a year as NAIAS stands ready to embrace this evolution with its move to June and provide a fresh international platform for hundreds of brands to highlight their innovations. “As we look to break out of the traditional auto show model, there is not a need to follow the normal show season,” added North. “The new direction and focus of the show will disrupt the normal cadence of traditional shows and create a new event unparalleled in the industry.” Endless Opportunities for Brand Activations The reimagined show will undergo an evolution that will take the show from inside Cobo Center to a canvas of unlimited brand activation and engagement opportunities – a canvas only limited by exhibitor creativity and imagination. While the successful foundation of the show inside Cobo Center will continue with vehicles and innovative mobility technologies being showcased, transformation plans call for growth in both branding and event opportunities at multiple venues throughout Detroit, and perhaps, beyond. “Detroit now has the opportunity to showcase our riverfront and our revitalized downtown during our beautiful summer months and creatively use the exterior of Cobo to launch new products that will transform Detroit into an exciting auto-centric environment,” said Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. Hosting the show in June sets the stage for exhibitors to conduct dynamic outdoor experiential brand activations, immersing and engaging the media and consumers in memorable product experiences. A sampling of outdoor experiential activities might include: Dynamic Vehicle Debuts Ride and Drives Autonomous/Automated Driving Off-Road Challenges It’s envisioned that activation sites will be located throughout downtown Detroit, including at some of the city’s jewels such as Hart Plaza, Detroit RiverWalk, Campus Martius, Woodward Avenue and Grand Circus Park. Activation spots might even extend beyond the downtown area to historic automotive locations or state parks such as Belle Isle. “The potential to create a month long automotive festival in Detroit starting with the Detroit Grand Prix, going through our show and concluding with the nationally-celebrated fireworks on the river, will provide an unmatched festival-like experience for all attendees,” added Alberts. Cost Benefits for Exhibitors The move to June will translate into substantial cost savings for exhibitors. By eliminating November, December and January holidays from the move-in equation, exhibitors will see reduced overtime labor costs for builds. Additionally, the show will have a shorter move-in schedule of three weeks, significantly reduced from the current 8 weeks on average it takes for move-in. With a reduced build time, exhibit builds will be simplified and less custom-built for Detroit, providing numerous cost savings as well. A Vibrant Downtown With ideal summer weather, a Cobo Center filled with new products and technologies, and engaging events positioned throughout the city, auto show attendees will be able to enjoy all that Detroit has to offer, will celebrating the Motor City’s love of the automobile. Cross-marketing events around the city will help drive excitement, energy and attendees to downtown. This past January, NAIAS attracted well over three-quarters of a million people to the city and generated an economic impact of $480M (according to David Sowerby, CFA, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, Ancora) to the regional economy. “June provides us with exciting new opportunities that January just didn’t afford,” added Alberts. “We strongly believe we can continue to deliver a significant economic impact for our great city, and offer an event unlike anything anyone has ever experienced.” Comments from Automakers “Reinventing NAIAS as a summertime festival of design, speed and innovation is incredibly exciting. It will showcase the best of our industry and the best of Detroit, and should become a can’t miss event on the calendar for global automakers and media,” said Mark Truby, Vice President, Communications, Ford Motor Company. “The North American International Auto Show has provided GAC Motor with a tremendous platform – connecting us with key media and industry executives,” said Yu Jun, GAC Motor President. “As we look to enter the U.S. and increase our market share, Detroit will continue to serve as a critical part of our global marketing strategy and we look forward to the new exciting opportunities June will offer.” “We applaud the DADA for thinking big and really taking advantage of this opportunity to re-imagine the auto show and position Detroit in the best light. We’re excited to be a part of a festival-like series of events that showcase all the great things that are happening in both the auto industry and Detroit,” said Tony Cervone, Senior Vice President, Global Communications, General Motors Company “Hyundai is always excited to participate in the North American International Auto Show and display its products to the Motor City. We already are planning an exciting reveal in 2019. It certainly will be a new experience leaving the ski hats and Chap-Stick at home and packing our Tigers baseball caps and sunscreen. We look forward to the evolution of the show,” said Jim Trainor, Director, Hyundai Motor America. “Toyota is excited to see the North American International Auto Show move to June in 2020,” said Scott Vazin, Group Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Toyota Motor North America. “With a new summer timeframe, industry leaders and international media will see Detroit in a new light, paving the way for exciting outdoor activities and more opportunities to explore this vibrant city.” Preparations Underway for Coming Year The January 2019 NAIAS looks to build off the significant buzz generated this past show where media metrics reports from PRIME Research indicate NAIAS remains the global leader among domestic shows in terms of influence as it garners the largest reach, number of articles and share of voice. “Coming off recent trips in Europe, Asia, and around the U.S., automakers, suppliers and tech companies have hinted at some important product news that is earmarked for Detroit this upcoming year,” said Bill Golling, 2019 NAIAS Chairman. “We look forward to providing a world-class platform for the over 200 brands that showcase their innovations at our show.”
  2. It is no secret that Jeep has been toying with the idea of introducing a model smaller than the Renegade (see our story back in January). According to a new report from Autocar, Jeep might announce plans to do just that. In June, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be holding their five-year plan announcement. This is where the company outlines what's in store for the brands under the FCA umbrella. Autocar says Jeep is likely to announce their sub-Renegade model during it. As we reported back in January, the 'baby' Jeep would likely use the platform that underpins the Fiat 500 and Panda 4x4. It would be aimed at the European market where there is a growing demand for small crossovers. Jeep CEO Mike Manley said Latin America could also be another market for the 'baby' Jeep. Source: Autocar
  3. Acura's performance image begins and ends with the NSX. But for a time, the Japanese luxury automaker built performance variants of certain models with the Type S badging. The last time this badge was seen on an Acura model was the 2008 TL Type-S. It featured a more powerful 3.5L V6 (286 vs. 256), unique chassis tuning, and design tweaks. Last week, Acura announced that the Type S would be making a comeback on a number of models in the coming years. Also, a new twin-turbo V6 that will be exclusive for Acura is in development. No word on when this engine will debut. "Acura will pursue a unique powertrain strategy that underscores the brand's rightful place as the performance division of Honda," said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, president & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. In the meantime, Acura will continue to expand its A-Spec trim to other models. The reason comes down to the success of the trim on the TLX V6. Source: Acura, Car and Driver Press Release is on Page 2 Return of Type S and All-new V6 Turbo Underscore Renewed Commitment to Performance Throughout Acura Core Model Lineup Jan 15, 2018 - DETROIT Acura to bring back vaunted Type-S performance variant over the next few years situated at top of core model lineup Acura-exclusive, turbocharged V6 engine in development A-Spec sport styling variant to be applied to all new Acura core models In conjunction with the global debut of the 2019 Acura RDX Prototype and building upon the NSX supercar as the pinnacle expression of Precision Crafted Performance, Acura today announced new details on the future performance strategy of its core model lineup. The plans include the launch of a new turbocharged V6 powerplant exclusive to future Acura products, the return of its vaunted Type-S performance brand in the coming years and expansion of A-Spec sports variants to include all core models in the future. "We have made a major commitment to Acura to bring each element of Precision Crafted Performance to life through a new generation of products," said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, president & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Acura will pursue a unique powertrain strategy that underscores the brand's rightful place as the performance division of Honda." Building on the direction set forth by the the twin-turbocharged V6-powered NSX supercar, Acura will introduce a new V6 turbo powerplant. The new high-performance powerplant will be exclusive to the Acura lineup and will be paired with the latest generation of Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), which is launching in the new 2019 RDX. The new Acura Turbo V6 will make its way into multiple products in the years ahead. In addition, as part of its strengthening commitment to performance, Acura will bring back the much-heralded Type-S performance variant in the coming years. The Type-S badge last appeared on the 2008 Acura TL, which featured a track-tuned chassis, more powerful engine and brakes, high-performance tires and extensive, sports-oriented exterior and interior modifications. Like the new engine, the Type-S badge will make its way onto multiple Acura models in the future. Finally, based on the success of the V6 TLX A-Spec variant, launched in 2017, Acura will introduce A-Spec variants for every new core model in development, including a new 2.4-liter TLX A-Spec this spring and an A-Spec variant of the all-new 2019 RDX, which will launch with the rest of the all-new RDX lineup in mid-2018. Acura's A-Spec badge first appeared on the 2004 TL sedan and currently appears on the Acura TLX and ILX sedans.
  4. Toyota is well aware that they are quite behind competitors when it comes to electric vehicles. Facing a “now or never” crisis, the Japanese automaker announced a new plan that will see it sell more than 10 electric vehicles worldwide by 2020. The plan hinges on a significant acceleration in the development and launches of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, and fuel cells. The new vehicles will be launched in China first, followed by other markets such as Japan and the U.S. Toyota is also planning on having an electrified version of every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2025. The goals mark a major departure for Toyota as they have tended to focus more on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, not electric-only models. The company had said for the longest time that electric vehicles would be a niche market due to their limited range, slow recharging times, and high costs. Toyota would instead focus on developing fuel cell vehicles which had its own issues - limited fuel infrastructure and slow refueling times. But with various governments beginning to clamp down on emissions, Toyota knew it had to make a course change. The company is planning on launching a new, solid-state battery in the early 2020s which will improve the performance and weight of their electric vehicles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota Aims for Sales of More Than 5.5 Million Electrified Vehicles Including 1 Million Zero-Emission Vehicles per Year by 2030 Electrified vehicles to be available across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up by around 2025 Toyota City, Japan, December 18, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces today its plans toward the popularization of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota's electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Toyota has been working toward creating ever-better cars and an ever-better society under the thinking of contributing to a sustainable society and creating mobility that brings smiles to customers. Addressing environmental challenges, such as global warming, air pollution, and limited natural resources and energy supply are of utmost importance to Toyota. "Environment" is one of the anchors of the company's product development, alongside "safety/peace of mind" and "emotion." Electrified vehicles, which are effective for economical consumption of fuel and promoting usage of alternative fuels, are indispensable in helping to solve current environmental issues. In October 2015, Toyota launched the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible and contribute to realizing a sustainable society. In the ever-better cars category, Toyota aims to reduce global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent from 2010 levels. Today's announcement is the main pillar of a mid-to-long-term initiative to achieve this challenge. Electrification across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs). Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models. As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero. Zero-emission Vehicles Toyota will accelerate the popularization of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other markets―the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected. The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s. Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles The HEV line-up will also grow, thanks to the further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs. Toyota also aims to expand its PHEV line-up in the 2020s. Batteries are a core technology of electrified vehicles and generally present limitations relating to energy density, weight/packaging, and cost. Toyota has been actively developing next-generation solid-state batteries and aims to commercialize the technology by the early 2020s. In addition, Toyota and Panasonic will start a feasibility study on a joint automotive prismatic battery business in order to achieve the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and to ultimately contribute to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles. Furthermore, Toyota aims to focus on the development of a social infrastructure conducive to the widespread adoption of electrified vehicles. This includes the creation of a system to help streamline battery reuse and recycling, as well as support of the promotion of plug-in vehicle charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations through active cooperation and collaboration with government authorities and partner companies. Toyota has been a leader in making vehicles while keeping the environment in mind. This is evident through the introduction of the iconic Prius 20 years ago, as well as the launch of the world's first PHEV, the Prius PHV, in 2012. The second-generation Prius PHV, introduced in 2017, further increased the vehicle's electric mode cruising range. Additionally, in 2014 Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, which is being well-received by customers in Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Through these activities, Toyota sales of electrified vehicles have reached more than 11 million units worldwide to date.
  5. It seems everyone is getting into the car business, whether that is through autonomous technologies or electric vehicles. The latest entrant may surprise a number. Yesterday, Dyson (yes, the vacuum cleaner maker) announced that it was working on an electric vehicle. Rumors about this have been swirling for a few years. Last year, the documents from the UK government revealed a £16 million ($22.54 million) grant was awarded to the company for the research and development on batteries, which added more fuel to the fire. In the announcement, founder James Dyson revealed that company has been working on this project for more than two years. 400 people are working on the project and is looking to hire more people. It may seem crazy for a vacuum cleaner maker to go into the electric car business. But Dyson highlights their experience in developing batteries and electric motors for their hair dryers and cordless vacuums. This, in theory, should help them get their electric car project off the ground. The plan is to have the EV on sale by 2020. We'll believe it when we see it. Source: Dyson, Auto Express
  6. At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Hyundai unveiled the Santa Cruz pickup concept. It was well received by the media and attendees to the show that Hyundai started making plans to possibly launch this truck, though the Korean home office had cold feet about this project. Much has changed since the debut of the Santa Cruz concept. Hyundai's sales have been falling as consumers are flocking to the likes of crossovers, SUVs, and trucks. So far in 2017, Hyundai has seen sales fall 11 percent. Michael J. O’Brien, Hyundai's Vice President of Corporate and Product Planning in the U.S. tells Reuters that the company's top brass has finally given the green light for the pickup project. It is expected to be similar to the Santa Cruz concept and will likely be based on one of Hyundai's crossovers. A timeframe for when would see the truck was not given. The truck is part of broader plan to get Hyundai back on track in the U.S. According to sources, Hyundai is planning to launch a new Santa Fe Sport next year, followed by a replacement for the three-row Santa Fe in 2019, and ending with an all-new Tucson in 2020. Source: Reuters
  7. Ever since the Volkswagen Buzz I.D. concept made its debut, rumors have been flying as to whether or not the German automaker would go forward with it. Yesterday at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Volkswagen finally put the rumors to rest. "After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, 'please build this car’,” said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess. "The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we're bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle." Before you start lining up at your Volkswagen dealer, the company says the model will not launch till 2022. Models such as the I.D. hatchback and I.D. Crozz will go on sale first. The production variant will be based on Volkswagen's upcoming MEB platform. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, while AWD will be an option. Volkswagen is also planning to offer the Buzz as both a passenger van and a cargo van. Source: Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 VOLKSWAGEN TAKES BOLD DECISION TO PUT I.D. BUZZ ELECTRIC CONCEPT CAR INTO PRODUCTION Volkswagen management announces production plans for the 21st century Microbus at the home of the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance Pebble Beach, California – At the Detroit Show in early 2017, Volkswagen showed the I.D. BUZZ concept car, a fully electric vehicle that taps in to the spirit and vibe that made the VW Microbus such an iconic vehicle — whether with Hippies and families in the Sixties or Surfer Dudes and Van Lifers today. Now, Volkswagen has taken the bold decision to put the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ concept car into production and Volkswagen’s CEO of the North American Region, Hinrich J. Woebcken is happy to welcome the car to North America. The Chairmen of the Boards of Management of the Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands, Dr Herbert Diess and Dr Eckhard Scholz, announced the decision today at one of the most prestigious automotive events in the world — the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California. Within the framework of further development, Volkswagen has also set a launch date for the I.D. BUZZ. The vehicle will arrive at dealerships in 2022, after the compact four-door I.D. makes its debut. With the I.D. BUZZ, Volkswagen is mainly targeting markets in North America, Europe and China. "After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, 'please build this car’,” Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess said in Pebble Beach. The Board of Management chose Pebble Beach as the location to make its announcement because, as Diess explained: "The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we're bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle." Just like the concept car that was shown in Detroit, the production model will also have its batteries mounted in the vehicle floor. Because the electric drive components — electric motor, power electronics, and such —don't take up much space, the vehicle has a long wheelbase with short overhangs, allowing for a massively spacious interior and great proportions. "The vehicle looks like a compact commercial van on the outside, even though it offers the generous interior space of a large SUV," Diess explained. CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, Hinrich J. Woebcken added: “We are delighted that our parent company has taken the decision to produce the I.D. BUZZ. This vehicle is the perfect balance between emotion, usability and sustainability, while also showcasing our technological leadership. The high seating position, cargo capacity, overall versatility and all-wheel drive option packaged into such an appealing design is just what our customers want from us. And it’s the perfect fit for the zero-emissions American lifestyle.” The I.D. BUZZ won’t just be a passenger vehicle. Just like the classic T2, the I.D. BUZZ will both haul people and haul freight. "Along with a minibus version, we'll also be offering an I.D. BUZZ CARGO variant for zero-emissions delivery of goods,” said Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Dr Eckhard Scholz. "With Level 3 autonomous capability, this is an ideal concept for an electric van, particularly for delivering packages and goods to the inner cities." Although Volkswagen's oldest and newest Microbuses will be separated by more than seven decades when the new model is launched, the I.D. BUZZ undoubtedly has the original's genes, as it offers maximum utilization of space on the footprint of a mid-size passenger car. Based on the new all-electric architecture, the production version of the I.D. BUZZ will incorporate many design ideas from the concept car, including multi-variable seating, interactive connectivity and highly automated driving.
  8. It seems everyone is getting into the car business, whether that is through autonomous technologies or electric vehicles. The latest entrant may surprise a number. Yesterday, Dyson (yes, the vacuum cleaner maker) announced that it was working on an electric vehicle. Rumors about this have been swirling for a few years. Last year, the documents from the UK government revealed a £16 million ($22.54 million) grant was awarded to the company for the research and development on batteries, which added more fuel to the fire. In the announcement, founder James Dyson revealed that company has been working on this project for more than two years. 400 people are working on the project and is looking to hire more people. It may seem crazy for a vacuum cleaner maker to go into the electric car business. But Dyson highlights their experience in developing batteries and electric motors for their hair dryers and cordless vacuums. This, in theory, should help them get their electric car project off the ground. The plan is to have the EV on sale by 2020. We'll believe it when we see it. Source: Dyson, Auto Express View full article
  9. After months of speculation and rumor, it is now official: The Detroit Auto Show will be moving from January to June in 2020. “Our show is undergoing its most significant transformation in the last three decades. Detroit will continue to be a global stage for some of the world’s most significant and iconic vehicle reveals and host an unparalleled international audience of media and key industry influencers,” said Rod Alberts, Executive Director of the Detroit Auto Show. The Detroit Auto Show has been taking a bit of beating over the past few years with various automakers pulling out to hold their own events or focus on other shows, along with the Consumer Electronics Show taking more of the spotlight. Plans for the revamped show include rides and drives of new vehicles, having self-driving vehicles on public roads, experience dynamic vehicle debuts, and more. "As we look to break out of the traditional auto show model, there is not a need to follow the normal show season. The new direction and focus of the show will disrupt the normal cadence of traditional shows and create a new event unparalleled in the industry," said Doug North, president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association. Organizers point out the new date will drastically reduce the costs of participating in the show. Already, various automakers such as General Motors and Hyundai have praised the move. Whether it works or not remains to be seen. Source: North American International Auto Show Transformational Move Announced for the North American International Auto Show The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) announced that starting in 2020 the show would make a transformational move to June and will start the week of June 8th. The ability for participating brands to deliver dynamic exhibits and experiential opportunities outside of the show’s four walls for attending journalists, industry members and consumers, will provide new avenues to showcase the products and technologies on display. Delivering greater ROI through reduced costs and dynamic opportunities will be a key aspect of the future show. “Our show is undergoing its most significant transformation in the last three decades,” said Rod Alberts, Executive Director, NAIAS. “Detroit will continue to be a global stage for some of the world’s most significant and iconic vehicle reveals and host an unparalleled international audience of media and key industry influencers.” NAIAS is one of the most influential global auto events, touching all facets of the industry and attracting the largest concentration of the world’s top industry leaders – from automakers and suppliers, to tech startups and venture capitalists, to universities and policymakers. “The North American International Auto Show is an amazing exhibition that showcases the most innovative and creative automotive companies around the world,” said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. “Moving the show to the summer opens up new opportunities for companies as well as creating new experiences for attendees.” The show is run by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and its Executive Board. As part of the DADA and Board’s due diligence in exploring new opportunities for the show, hundreds of meetings and conversations with key stakeholders – automakers, suppliers and sponsors, as well as industry and government leaders – were had around the world. “Our ultimate goal is to provide an experience and opportunity for participating companies and attendees, that only Detroit can offer,” said Doug North, DADA President. “June will allow us to better showcase the automotive leadership, development and heritage our great city and region holds.” Embracing the Industry’s Change Auto show dynamics are changing globally as the auto industry undergoes its biggest shift in more than a century. With this, automakers are seeking out increasingly creative ways to debut vehicles and engage with consumers. Plans have been underway for over a year as NAIAS stands ready to embrace this evolution with its move to June and provide a fresh international platform for hundreds of brands to highlight their innovations. “As we look to break out of the traditional auto show model, there is not a need to follow the normal show season,” added North. “The new direction and focus of the show will disrupt the normal cadence of traditional shows and create a new event unparalleled in the industry.” Endless Opportunities for Brand Activations The reimagined show will undergo an evolution that will take the show from inside Cobo Center to a canvas of unlimited brand activation and engagement opportunities – a canvas only limited by exhibitor creativity and imagination. While the successful foundation of the show inside Cobo Center will continue with vehicles and innovative mobility technologies being showcased, transformation plans call for growth in both branding and event opportunities at multiple venues throughout Detroit, and perhaps, beyond. “Detroit now has the opportunity to showcase our riverfront and our revitalized downtown during our beautiful summer months and creatively use the exterior of Cobo to launch new products that will transform Detroit into an exciting auto-centric environment,” said Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. Hosting the show in June sets the stage for exhibitors to conduct dynamic outdoor experiential brand activations, immersing and engaging the media and consumers in memorable product experiences. A sampling of outdoor experiential activities might include: Dynamic Vehicle Debuts Ride and Drives Autonomous/Automated Driving Off-Road Challenges It’s envisioned that activation sites will be located throughout downtown Detroit, including at some of the city’s jewels such as Hart Plaza, Detroit RiverWalk, Campus Martius, Woodward Avenue and Grand Circus Park. Activation spots might even extend beyond the downtown area to historic automotive locations or state parks such as Belle Isle. “The potential to create a month long automotive festival in Detroit starting with the Detroit Grand Prix, going through our show and concluding with the nationally-celebrated fireworks on the river, will provide an unmatched festival-like experience for all attendees,” added Alberts. Cost Benefits for Exhibitors The move to June will translate into substantial cost savings for exhibitors. By eliminating November, December and January holidays from the move-in equation, exhibitors will see reduced overtime labor costs for builds. Additionally, the show will have a shorter move-in schedule of three weeks, significantly reduced from the current 8 weeks on average it takes for move-in. With a reduced build time, exhibit builds will be simplified and less custom-built for Detroit, providing numerous cost savings as well. A Vibrant Downtown With ideal summer weather, a Cobo Center filled with new products and technologies, and engaging events positioned throughout the city, auto show attendees will be able to enjoy all that Detroit has to offer, will celebrating the Motor City’s love of the automobile. Cross-marketing events around the city will help drive excitement, energy and attendees to downtown. This past January, NAIAS attracted well over three-quarters of a million people to the city and generated an economic impact of $480M (according to David Sowerby, CFA, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, Ancora) to the regional economy. “June provides us with exciting new opportunities that January just didn’t afford,” added Alberts. “We strongly believe we can continue to deliver a significant economic impact for our great city, and offer an event unlike anything anyone has ever experienced.” Comments from Automakers “Reinventing NAIAS as a summertime festival of design, speed and innovation is incredibly exciting. It will showcase the best of our industry and the best of Detroit, and should become a can’t miss event on the calendar for global automakers and media,” said Mark Truby, Vice President, Communications, Ford Motor Company. “The North American International Auto Show has provided GAC Motor with a tremendous platform – connecting us with key media and industry executives,” said Yu Jun, GAC Motor President. “As we look to enter the U.S. and increase our market share, Detroit will continue to serve as a critical part of our global marketing strategy and we look forward to the new exciting opportunities June will offer.” “We applaud the DADA for thinking big and really taking advantage of this opportunity to re-imagine the auto show and position Detroit in the best light. We’re excited to be a part of a festival-like series of events that showcase all the great things that are happening in both the auto industry and Detroit,” said Tony Cervone, Senior Vice President, Global Communications, General Motors Company “Hyundai is always excited to participate in the North American International Auto Show and display its products to the Motor City. We already are planning an exciting reveal in 2019. It certainly will be a new experience leaving the ski hats and Chap-Stick at home and packing our Tigers baseball caps and sunscreen. We look forward to the evolution of the show,” said Jim Trainor, Director, Hyundai Motor America. “Toyota is excited to see the North American International Auto Show move to June in 2020,” said Scott Vazin, Group Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Toyota Motor North America. “With a new summer timeframe, industry leaders and international media will see Detroit in a new light, paving the way for exciting outdoor activities and more opportunities to explore this vibrant city.” Preparations Underway for Coming Year The January 2019 NAIAS looks to build off the significant buzz generated this past show where media metrics reports from PRIME Research indicate NAIAS remains the global leader among domestic shows in terms of influence as it garners the largest reach, number of articles and share of voice. “Coming off recent trips in Europe, Asia, and around the U.S., automakers, suppliers and tech companies have hinted at some important product news that is earmarked for Detroit this upcoming year,” said Bill Golling, 2019 NAIAS Chairman. “We look forward to providing a world-class platform for the over 200 brands that showcase their innovations at our show.” View full article
  10. It is no secret that Jeep has been toying with the idea of introducing a model smaller than the Renegade (see our story back in January). According to a new report from Autocar, Jeep might announce plans to do just that. In June, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be holding their five-year plan announcement. This is where the company outlines what's in store for the brands under the FCA umbrella. Autocar says Jeep is likely to announce their sub-Renegade model during it. As we reported back in January, the 'baby' Jeep would likely use the platform that underpins the Fiat 500 and Panda 4x4. It would be aimed at the European market where there is a growing demand for small crossovers. Jeep CEO Mike Manley said Latin America could also be another market for the 'baby' Jeep. Source: Autocar View full article
  11. Acura's performance image begins and ends with the NSX. But for a time, the Japanese luxury automaker built performance variants of certain models with the Type S badging. The last time this badge was seen on an Acura model was the 2008 TL Type-S. It featured a more powerful 3.5L V6 (286 vs. 256), unique chassis tuning, and design tweaks. Last week, Acura announced that the Type S would be making a comeback on a number of models in the coming years. Also, a new twin-turbo V6 that will be exclusive for Acura is in development. No word on when this engine will debut. "Acura will pursue a unique powertrain strategy that underscores the brand's rightful place as the performance division of Honda," said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, president & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. In the meantime, Acura will continue to expand its A-Spec trim to other models. The reason comes down to the success of the trim on the TLX V6. Source: Acura, Car and Driver Press Release is on Page 2 Return of Type S and All-new V6 Turbo Underscore Renewed Commitment to Performance Throughout Acura Core Model Lineup Jan 15, 2018 - DETROIT Acura to bring back vaunted Type-S performance variant over the next few years situated at top of core model lineup Acura-exclusive, turbocharged V6 engine in development A-Spec sport styling variant to be applied to all new Acura core models In conjunction with the global debut of the 2019 Acura RDX Prototype and building upon the NSX supercar as the pinnacle expression of Precision Crafted Performance, Acura today announced new details on the future performance strategy of its core model lineup. The plans include the launch of a new turbocharged V6 powerplant exclusive to future Acura products, the return of its vaunted Type-S performance brand in the coming years and expansion of A-Spec sports variants to include all core models in the future. "We have made a major commitment to Acura to bring each element of Precision Crafted Performance to life through a new generation of products," said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, president & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Acura will pursue a unique powertrain strategy that underscores the brand's rightful place as the performance division of Honda." Building on the direction set forth by the the twin-turbocharged V6-powered NSX supercar, Acura will introduce a new V6 turbo powerplant. The new high-performance powerplant will be exclusive to the Acura lineup and will be paired with the latest generation of Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), which is launching in the new 2019 RDX. The new Acura Turbo V6 will make its way into multiple products in the years ahead. In addition, as part of its strengthening commitment to performance, Acura will bring back the much-heralded Type-S performance variant in the coming years. The Type-S badge last appeared on the 2008 Acura TL, which featured a track-tuned chassis, more powerful engine and brakes, high-performance tires and extensive, sports-oriented exterior and interior modifications. Like the new engine, the Type-S badge will make its way onto multiple Acura models in the future. Finally, based on the success of the V6 TLX A-Spec variant, launched in 2017, Acura will introduce A-Spec variants for every new core model in development, including a new 2.4-liter TLX A-Spec this spring and an A-Spec variant of the all-new 2019 RDX, which will launch with the rest of the all-new RDX lineup in mid-2018. Acura's A-Spec badge first appeared on the 2004 TL sedan and currently appears on the Acura TLX and ILX sedans. View full article
  12. Toyota is well aware that they are quite behind competitors when it comes to electric vehicles. Facing a “now or never” crisis, the Japanese automaker announced a new plan that will see it sell more than 10 electric vehicles worldwide by 2020. The plan hinges on a significant acceleration in the development and launches of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, and fuel cells. The new vehicles will be launched in China first, followed by other markets such as Japan and the U.S. Toyota is also planning on having an electrified version of every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2025. The goals mark a major departure for Toyota as they have tended to focus more on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, not electric-only models. The company had said for the longest time that electric vehicles would be a niche market due to their limited range, slow recharging times, and high costs. Toyota would instead focus on developing fuel cell vehicles which had its own issues - limited fuel infrastructure and slow refueling times. But with various governments beginning to clamp down on emissions, Toyota knew it had to make a course change. The company is planning on launching a new, solid-state battery in the early 2020s which will improve the performance and weight of their electric vehicles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota Aims for Sales of More Than 5.5 Million Electrified Vehicles Including 1 Million Zero-Emission Vehicles per Year by 2030 Electrified vehicles to be available across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up by around 2025 Toyota City, Japan, December 18, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces today its plans toward the popularization of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota's electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Toyota has been working toward creating ever-better cars and an ever-better society under the thinking of contributing to a sustainable society and creating mobility that brings smiles to customers. Addressing environmental challenges, such as global warming, air pollution, and limited natural resources and energy supply are of utmost importance to Toyota. "Environment" is one of the anchors of the company's product development, alongside "safety/peace of mind" and "emotion." Electrified vehicles, which are effective for economical consumption of fuel and promoting usage of alternative fuels, are indispensable in helping to solve current environmental issues. In October 2015, Toyota launched the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible and contribute to realizing a sustainable society. In the ever-better cars category, Toyota aims to reduce global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent from 2010 levels. Today's announcement is the main pillar of a mid-to-long-term initiative to achieve this challenge. Electrification across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs). Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models. As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero. Zero-emission Vehicles Toyota will accelerate the popularization of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other markets―the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected. The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s. Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles The HEV line-up will also grow, thanks to the further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs. Toyota also aims to expand its PHEV line-up in the 2020s. Batteries are a core technology of electrified vehicles and generally present limitations relating to energy density, weight/packaging, and cost. Toyota has been actively developing next-generation solid-state batteries and aims to commercialize the technology by the early 2020s. In addition, Toyota and Panasonic will start a feasibility study on a joint automotive prismatic battery business in order to achieve the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and to ultimately contribute to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles. Furthermore, Toyota aims to focus on the development of a social infrastructure conducive to the widespread adoption of electrified vehicles. This includes the creation of a system to help streamline battery reuse and recycling, as well as support of the promotion of plug-in vehicle charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations through active cooperation and collaboration with government authorities and partner companies. Toyota has been a leader in making vehicles while keeping the environment in mind. This is evident through the introduction of the iconic Prius 20 years ago, as well as the launch of the world's first PHEV, the Prius PHV, in 2012. The second-generation Prius PHV, introduced in 2017, further increased the vehicle's electric mode cruising range. Additionally, in 2014 Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, which is being well-received by customers in Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Through these activities, Toyota sales of electrified vehicles have reached more than 11 million units worldwide to date. View full article
  13. At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Hyundai unveiled the Santa Cruz pickup concept. It was well received by the media and attendees to the show that Hyundai started making plans to possibly launch this truck, though the Korean home office had cold feet about this project. Much has changed since the debut of the Santa Cruz concept. Hyundai's sales have been falling as consumers are flocking to the likes of crossovers, SUVs, and trucks. So far in 2017, Hyundai has seen sales fall 11 percent. Michael J. O’Brien, Hyundai's Vice President of Corporate and Product Planning in the U.S. tells Reuters that the company's top brass has finally given the green light for the pickup project. It is expected to be similar to the Santa Cruz concept and will likely be based on one of Hyundai's crossovers. A timeframe for when would see the truck was not given. The truck is part of broader plan to get Hyundai back on track in the U.S. According to sources, Hyundai is planning to launch a new Santa Fe Sport next year, followed by a replacement for the three-row Santa Fe in 2019, and ending with an all-new Tucson in 2020. Source: Reuters View full article
  14. Ever since the Volkswagen Buzz I.D. concept made its debut, rumors have been flying as to whether or not the German automaker would go forward with it. Yesterday at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Volkswagen finally put the rumors to rest. "After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, 'please build this car’,” said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess. "The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we're bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle." Before you start lining up at your Volkswagen dealer, the company says the model will not launch till 2022. Models such as the I.D. hatchback and I.D. Crozz will go on sale first. The production variant will be based on Volkswagen's upcoming MEB platform. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, while AWD will be an option. Volkswagen is also planning to offer the Buzz as both a passenger van and a cargo van. Source: Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 VOLKSWAGEN TAKES BOLD DECISION TO PUT I.D. BUZZ ELECTRIC CONCEPT CAR INTO PRODUCTION Volkswagen management announces production plans for the 21st century Microbus at the home of the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance Pebble Beach, California – At the Detroit Show in early 2017, Volkswagen showed the I.D. BUZZ concept car, a fully electric vehicle that taps in to the spirit and vibe that made the VW Microbus such an iconic vehicle — whether with Hippies and families in the Sixties or Surfer Dudes and Van Lifers today. Now, Volkswagen has taken the bold decision to put the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ concept car into production and Volkswagen’s CEO of the North American Region, Hinrich J. Woebcken is happy to welcome the car to North America. The Chairmen of the Boards of Management of the Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands, Dr Herbert Diess and Dr Eckhard Scholz, announced the decision today at one of the most prestigious automotive events in the world — the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California. Within the framework of further development, Volkswagen has also set a launch date for the I.D. BUZZ. The vehicle will arrive at dealerships in 2022, after the compact four-door I.D. makes its debut. With the I.D. BUZZ, Volkswagen is mainly targeting markets in North America, Europe and China. "After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, 'please build this car’,” Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess said in Pebble Beach. The Board of Management chose Pebble Beach as the location to make its announcement because, as Diess explained: "The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we're bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle." Just like the concept car that was shown in Detroit, the production model will also have its batteries mounted in the vehicle floor. Because the electric drive components — electric motor, power electronics, and such —don't take up much space, the vehicle has a long wheelbase with short overhangs, allowing for a massively spacious interior and great proportions. "The vehicle looks like a compact commercial van on the outside, even though it offers the generous interior space of a large SUV," Diess explained. CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, Hinrich J. Woebcken added: “We are delighted that our parent company has taken the decision to produce the I.D. BUZZ. This vehicle is the perfect balance between emotion, usability and sustainability, while also showcasing our technological leadership. The high seating position, cargo capacity, overall versatility and all-wheel drive option packaged into such an appealing design is just what our customers want from us. And it’s the perfect fit for the zero-emissions American lifestyle.” The I.D. BUZZ won’t just be a passenger vehicle. Just like the classic T2, the I.D. BUZZ will both haul people and haul freight. "Along with a minibus version, we'll also be offering an I.D. BUZZ CARGO variant for zero-emissions delivery of goods,” said Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Dr Eckhard Scholz. "With Level 3 autonomous capability, this is an ideal concept for an electric van, particularly for delivering packages and goods to the inner cities." Although Volkswagen's oldest and newest Microbuses will be separated by more than seven decades when the new model is launched, the I.D. BUZZ undoubtedly has the original's genes, as it offers maximum utilization of space on the footprint of a mid-size passenger car. Based on the new all-electric architecture, the production version of the I.D. BUZZ will incorporate many design ideas from the concept car, including multi-variable seating, interactive connectivity and highly automated driving. View full article

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